If there’s one word to describe David Price’s four seasons with the Red Sox, “controversial” comes to mind.
His numbers wouldn’t exactly indicate somebody worth $121 million, and despite his valiant postseason run in 2018, Red Sox fans aren’t particularly fond of the 34-year-old southpaw. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t churned out some phenomenal appearances during his tenure.
With his Boston career likely coming to a close this winter, it might be wise to take a look back at some of his best outings to allow fans to truly appreciate the talent they got out of David Price in his four years.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of David Price’s best appearances with the Boston Red Sox.
10. April 5, 2016 – “The Debut” – W, 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 10 K
This isn’t Price’s most dominant start in a Red Sox jersey, but it was back before any script had been written about the left-hander’s career. Striking out 10 and allowing just two runs across five scattered hits in six innings, Price gave Red Sox Nation a reason to believe they’d turned a corner after a 2015 season featuring no legit ace.
9. May 17, 2018 – “The Complete Game… Almost Shutout” – W, 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K
David Price only pitched one complete game over his four seasons with the team. This is that start. While that came against an Orioles team that managed to win just 47 games, that shouldn’t discredit the masterful performance Price put on full display that night. If it weren’t for a ninth-inning, two-strike, two-out home run by Manny Machado, Price would’ve finished off a complete-game shutout.
8. Oct. 14, 2018 – “There’s a First Time for Everything” – ND, 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Just by reading the box score, you’d think this was a bad start by David Price. However, when you add in all of the factors surrounding this start, it begins to form a more poetic tone. There were a few firsts that came out of this game, as it was the first time David Price had ever pitched with a lead as a starter in the postseason, it was the first time a team of his had won a start in October, and it was the first time Red Sox Nation truly gave the starting Price a heartfelt standing ovation as he walked off with two outs in the fifth inning.
It also began a run of dominance that was capped off by a World Series title. But we’re not there just yet.
7. June 8, 2019 – “The Masses are Quick to Forget” – W, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 10 K
Many would like to wipe the 2019 Red Sox season completely from memory. However, you cannot. It happened, and you have to live with that. That being said, there were still some exciting performances that are nice to reflect on, and ironically, Price was at the forefront of that for much of the first half. Coming off a good start at Yankee Stadium, Price faced his former club in the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox had lost two straight, including that afternoon in Game 1 of the double-dip at Fenway Park, and Price made sure the fans didn’t have a depressing drive home. Tossing six strong innings and striking 10, Price was able to lower his season ERA to 2.70.
6. Aug. 23, 2018 – “The Tribal Burial” – W, 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K
By and large, the 2018 Red Sox team was a wagon. Not many teams stood a chance against them en route to their 108-54 record. However, they had just lost three of four, and even with the 10-4 drubbing of the Cleveland Indians the night prior, Red Sox fans were still skeptical of how their team fared against the other American League elites. Price went out and absolutely dazzled over eight shutout innings, and walked off the mound with a fiery passion that Red Sox fans hadn’t been accustomed to seeing out of their $30 million per season investment.
5. July 16, 2017 – “The Son Rebels Against His Father” – W, 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 8 K
If you were expecting greatness from David Price in 2017, you probably entered the offseason feeling rather disappointed. Injuries derailed the then 31-year-old left-hander to just 74.2 innings over 16 appearances (11 starts). But the flashes of brilliance were still there, and he flat out dominated a Yankees team that typically has his number. Price dazzled, striking his way out of any impending damage the youthful 2017 Yankees put in front of him.
4. Oct. 8, 2017 – “David Price Puts Boston on his Back” – ND, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K
It wouldn’t be respectful to David Price to ignore such a dominant performance simply because it came in relief. So here it is. With the Red Sox facing elimination against the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros, Price entered the game with a 4-3 lead. While he was able to weave in and out of danger to the tune of four shutout frames, the southpaw gave the Red Sox time to separate from the Astros and invoke hope that they could come back after falling behind two games to none.
3. Oct. 24, 2018 – “So it Wasn’t a Fluke?” – W, 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K
David Price’s first World Series start was something special. Facing a blood-thirsty Dodgers team that lost in the World Series in 2017, it was no mystery that they felt the importance of avoiding falling behind two games to none. While Price relinquished the lead after a Matt Kemp sacrifice fly and a Yasiel Puig RBI single in the fourth, it began that maybe Price was the notorious postseason dud he’d been dubbed for so long. However, he buckled down, pitching two more scoreless innings en route to his first World Series win, and his second postseason win as a starter.
2. Oct. 18, 2018 – “Oh No… Oh Yes!” – W, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K
Red Sox Nation held their breath as Alex Cora opted to go with David Price on short rest in Game 5 over Chris Sale. Even though Sale wasn’t exactly dominant in Game 1, and was battling injuries throughout the second half, it was a mystery as to why Price got the ball. With zero career postseason wins as a starter, Price had the chance to help the Red Sox clinch their first World Series berth since 2013. Many were worried, but Price balled out. Twirling six shutout innings against a powerhouse Astros lineup, the Red Sox were headed to the World Series on the back of David Price.
1. Oct. 28, 2018 – “MVPrice” – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K
After getting blitzed by David Freese to lead off the bottom of the first, David Price was dominant in the World Series clincher. Seven innings of one-run ball, and probably should’ve won World Series MVP, David Price’s best start as a Red Sox was Game 5 of the 2018 World Series. The only thing that could possibly top this would be if Price could do it again in 2020 (if he isn’t traded) or throws a perfect game. Nothing beats a dominating effort in a World Series clincher.
Thanks for reminding us that Price has had some great moments with the Sox!